People in the Swindon NHS area most at risk of falling seriously ill from covid are to be offered a further booster vaccination.
Those aged 75 and over, as well as anyone with a weakened immune system, will be contacted during April and invited to book an appointment.
Some will be able to arrange their booster directly with their GP practice when invited to do so, while others will be asked to book an appointment at a community pharmacy or nearby pop-up clinic.
According to the NHS, thousands of people still become ill with covid each week, and although previous vaccination rounds have lessened the impact for most, those who are older or living with pre-existing conditions are still very much at-risk.
Gill May, Chief Nurse, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said: “Vaccines have enabled us to live alongside Covid-19, and through continued regular vaccination opportunities for our most vulnerable residents, we are helping to keep more people protected.
“This latest vaccination phase picks up where we left off at the end of last year, and will ensure the immunity of those who could potentially become very unwell with Covid-19 is as strong as it can be before the next round begins in the autumn.
“Having another booster vaccine now will keep those most at-risk protected during the spring and summer months, which we know is a time when many begin to travel and socialise more.”
Following the recent closure of the region’s large vaccination centres, those coming forward for vaccines during April and May will now receive their jabs in smaller community venues, such as GP practices, community centres and pharmacies.
People are asked to wait until they have been contacted, either by text, telephone call or letter, before attempting to book an appointment with their GP practice or through the National Booking Service.
This will ensure that venues with limited appointment availability are able to see patients in order of clinical need.
Vaccinations will be happening throughout the spring and early summer, meaning every person eligible for a booster jab will be able to receive the vaccine at some point over the coming weeks.
People who live in care homes and qualify for a booster vaccine will be visited by teams of mobile vaccinators before the start of the wider vaccination programme.
The National Booking Service can be accessed online at www.nhs.uk or over the phone by calling 119.
Further information about this latest phase of the vaccination programme, including a list of frequently asked questions, can be found at www.bsw.icb.nhs.uk
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